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The Principles of Inbound

We can go on and on (and we have) about the inbound methodology. But did you know that there’s inbound principles too? Before you start to panic, don’t worry. They’re a part of the inbound method and fit right into the attract, engage, and delight stages. We’re a bit embarrassed that this is our first post about the principles of inbound, cause they’re actually pretty important to the inbound philosophy. So… Let’s remedy our error and jump right in!

has a pretty nifty acronym for the inbound principles: SCOPE. As dissected below:

1. Standardize for consistency

2. Contextualize for relevance

3. Optimize for clarity

4. Personalize for impact

5. Empathize for perspective

Let’s break down what each principle means and where it fits in execution for the inbound strategy.

Standardize for consistency
Before you put out any piece of content, you want to make sure there is absolutely NO confusion or misunderstanding for your target audience. To make this easy when it comes to your content, it helps to have a standard or best practice guide in place for what you will be sharing and how you will be interacting with your audience across the board. This includes all elements to your brand identity.

Contextualize for relevance
This means taking that standards guide, or rather, the content you’ve created from it, and delivering it to your audience in a timely, and relevant way—starting to sound more like the good old methodology now? This ensures you’re always providing the right content during the right stages of a buyer’s journey.

Optimize for clarity
This means your content is improved for understanding, for EVERY SINGLE PERSON you are in communication with, across EVERY SINGLE PLATFORM you are on. On the phone, across your website, via live chat, you name it; you’re striving to maintain value and consistency with the content you’ve made on the platform or channel you are using. For example, you want to make sure you are maintaining high-quality pictures across your Pinterest for your target audience or ensuring that your customer service representatives are receiving customer complaints in a way that will reduce repetition and friction for the customer.

Personalize for impact
This one’s pretty straightforward and it’s at the core of the inbound methodology. Take a humanistic approach to the content you are creating and make sure you are working towards developing relationships with the people on the receiving end.

Empathize for perspective
There are two responses you need to be prepared for, every time you are interacting with a customer: the informative response and the emotional response. While you should always provide the most accurate, honest answer possible to your customer, strive to create an emotionally connective response that emphasizes your customer’s value while meeting them where they are. If a customer is frustrated, they’re looking for understanding; if your customer is excited, share in their enthusiasm. Remember to do this across each of your platforms, with every interaction you have with your target audience.

Essentially, the inbound principles are the stepping stones that explain how you can execute the inbound stages of attract, engage, and delight with your target audience. No matter what your role in your company is, if you interact with customers keeping SCOPE in mind will help you manage an effective approach to get you from just talking about inbound to actually doing it.